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Two people have been referred to their health care providers after being exposed to a cat that tested positive for rabies, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The victims were bitten by a brown and white cat in an area northwest of the City of Barnwell on Jan. 6. On Jan. 8, the cat was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing and was confirmed to have rabies on Jan. 9.

The cat is the first animal in Barnwell County to test positive for rabies in 2019. There have been four confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year.

In 2018, only one of the 100 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Barnwell County. Since 2013, South Carolina has averaged approximately 108 positive cases a year.

If you have reason to believe that you, your family members or your pets came in contact with this cat or another animal that potentially has rabies, call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Aiken office at 803-642-1637 during normal business hours or after-hours at 888-847-0902.

For more information on rabies visit: www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

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